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Terry McLaurin | 'The No. 1 thing you can do as a receiver is use your physicality'


Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin addressed the media after practice on July 31. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.

On how he feels about the offense:
"I think we're making some growth steps. I feel like Saturday we had some little things to clean up, taking care of the ball and depths of routes, just the nuances of the offense. But I don't think guys are having a lot of MAs, which is really good. Means guys are doing the studying at night. We're taking what we're learning in the installs to the field. So, it's just little details, which is what training camp is for so we can iron those things out before we start playing games. So far, I like the tempo in which we're going with and the attitude that we're approaching practice. That's a good foundation to start with."

On the ownership change and being the face of the franchise:
"Yeah, I mean, I think it's humbling to be in this position to grow as a player and as a leader. That's something I've always taken pride in. To see [Washington Commanders Managing Partner] Mr. [Josh] Harris and the rest of the group that's been brought in, they are a very impressive group of individuals and they have a clear vision on how they want to get this organization back to where it once was back in the days. One thing that strikes me about him, he's just so personable and it really shows that he cares about the wellness of the players and starts with us. How he can improve what's going on here. So, the communication with him has been great. Leaders have gotten to meet with him. I know he's been talking to the coaching staff and everybody like that. It was great to see this place sold out on Saturday and the buzz and the energy that this place had. It's something I hadn't probably quite experienced since I've been here. But it was just cool to feel that that energy that everybody's bringing and now it's on us to put the work in now so we could give everybody something to cheer for and we could be consistent this year."

On if he gets excited about the pads coming on:
"Oh, definitely because I, like, part of my game is, I like to run my routes physical as well. And sometimes when you're wearing jerseys it kind of allows you get grabbed a little bit more than you would like, but when you get the pads on, it's easier to use your hands, throw guys by, run through their chest a little bit and be a little bit more physical. That's what I'm preaching to our wide receivers right now because it's good to get practice against our DB's cause all of 'em play a different technique. But the number one thing you can do as a receiver is use your physicality, hold your space, and I think that's gonna be a growth step for all of us tomorrow, now that the pads are gonna come on because there's really no excuse to be getting grabbed on 'cause you should be being physical with them as well. It's gonna help us over the course of this season when we go against some tough press man teams and guys who like to be physical. You gotta have that in your repertoire to be ready, especially our bigger guys, you know what I mean? The young guys who have bigger frames, that should be one of the staples of their game is physicality. I'm excited. When pads come on, it raises the level of camp because quite frankly, a lot of guys can kind of look good in shorts and shirts, but now the physicality comes out a little bit more, it's hot, you know what I mean? You got pads a few days, so the mental grind of camp starts to weigh on you a little bit more and that's when you guys start fighting through it and still be productive every day."

On his connection with QB Sam Howell:
"It's going well. I think he's, obviously has a lot on his plate learning the offense. Has to go through the reads and as a leader, I'm just trying to be where I need to be, make sure my timing, my spacing is correct. And [Wide Receivers] coach Bobby [Engram] is doing a great job of echoing that with the receivers. And I think we make his job easier by being where we need to be so he doesn't have to worry about not only the checks, the reads, getting the call in, but getting my guys and I at the right depth. So I mean, I'm taking ownership of that. We're all still learning the offense, but one thing about him, he's not afraid to throw the ball down the field, which is exciting. He's gonna give guys a chance to make the play down the field and he throws a really nice deep ball. So, he's growing. I like how he's doing and how he's communicating with us as well."

On if he puts up expectations for himself:
"Yeah, I mean, I think [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy] EB really preaches selflessness and it's not really necessarily about your touches or about the yards you're gonna put up individually, but how you bring what you need to this offense to make us successful as a team. And so, that's something that's always at the forefront of my mind, how I could be my best self for the team. And if that's coming out here and putting up big stats, that's what I am prepared to do. I know I can, but at the end of the day, I'm gonna do what's asked of me and be somebody EB and Sam could trust. But at the end of the day, you want to be the workman, the bell cow, you know what I mean? But, I'm just focused on trying to be the best leader that I can, but also making sure I'm improving as an individual and learning this offense."

On another year with a new quarterback and how he has learned to approach it:
"Shoot, probably about year two or year three, you know what I mean? I kind of was like, it was a little bit of a turnover at the quarterback position, but at that point, I already had in my mind like I don't use that as an excuse as to why I don't do my job and I don't use that as a crutch to be why I'm not making plays or, you know, there's multiple quarterbacks. So I don't want to use that as a hindrance as to what that is dictates my outcome and my performance. Obviously, we know that's something that factors my position, but I've never used it as a crutch. And with Sam, it's been great so far. It was good to get a feel for him, obviously in the last game against Dallas. But as we've gone over the course of this offseason, we've thrown together, we've gotten some reps out here. I think one thing that strikes me with him is we have a nuanced connection. Even with [WR] Dyami [Brown], he just has a good feel of throwing the ball down the field and we really don't have to talk about landmarks and putting air under the ball. He just has a really good feel of throwing the ball down the field and that's a strength of my game. I know that's a strength of a lot of our receiver's games. I think that's something that we're looking forward to trying to put on the field this year is taking those shots down the field, but also being consistent in underneath routes and spacing the ball out and things like that. So, it's been great so far and I'm excited to work with him and hopefully he's gonna be our guy for the future."

On the instability at that position:
"Well, everybody knows this is a quarterback driven league and everybody's looking for their guy. And if you look at the guys who've won the Super Bowl and been consistently in the playoffs, they have that guy that they've been relying on for some time now. Obviously, we're still looking for that guy. I think we've had success. I think we've had guys come in here and help us win games and I've learned from all the guys I've gotten to play with. But, obviously we just want someone who's gonna be consistently out there and continue to grow with us as a group. I'm confident in the quarterbacks we have in that building right now, hopefully that's gonna be happening. And I think Sam has, like I said, done a great job of being a leader at such a young age, but he has a confidence about him that is, you can't help but to notice. So, I'm excited to work with him along with the rest of our group and our offense and we're gonna see where we're gonna go from there."

On how QB Sam Howell has handled himself:
"Yeah, to be honest, you really don't even see him get flustered even when he's had a few, maybe rough patches during practice. He doesn't hang his head. He's not yelling, cussing things like that. He said he's pretty even keel, which is really unique for a young guy like that. And, not only that, I think that struck me in the Dallas game 'cause we had a turnover, but he still wasn't afraid to push the ball down the field. And I think with this being a a passing league, you still gotta stay aggressive. It's really cool to see a young guy who's not afraid to continue to give his guys catches or guys opportunities down the field. because at the end of the day, our receivers and our group is gonna have to fight through some adversity. The defense are gonna make plays across the season, but the last thing we do is get down on each other. I think EB echoes that a lot. Staying consistent in what we do and I think it starts with the quarterback and so far he's done a really good job and I know he still has time to grow, but that comes with us rallying around him and doing our job to make his job easier."

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